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Back in December last year we published the second part of our two part paper What the Customer Needs to Meet the Challenge of IoT & Data-Ism

In Part 1 we discussed customers needs as the physical security equipment business gradually developed products that improved performance, reduced cost and enhanced value add services over the previous 20 years. In Part 2 we reviewed what the customer needs to meet the challenge of entering the next stage of IoT & Data-ism.

We are now entering a third stage where all physical security products will eventually sit on one common network that joins up all the sensors and devices in a building. We are calling this the Building Internet of Things (BIoT).

However this has so far had little impact on the day to day operation of the security industry. The reason for this is that IoT Technology is being driven by the ICT industry including silicon chips, communications and software producers at the Big Data and Data Services level.

These companies are investing billions of dollars in bringing together the information from all these desperate components and then crunching this data to discover all the facts that can automatically fine tune the buildings technical services without the need for human intervention. At the same time the BIoT will use all the relevant data to enhance safety and security.

Bringing all this together is a mammoth technical task requiring just a few common communication protocols in order to make it practical to deliver the scale that will make it commercially viable. A number of consortiums have been formed to produce appropriate standards and they are now positioning themselves in the fight to get theirs adopted in the market place. This is taking time but in the meantime BIoT is taking shape albeit not integrating all the services or delivering comprehensive systems in relatively medium sized but prestigious buildings.

What has been noted from these projects is that the different services feel threatened by assimilation into the electronics, telecom and Internet companies as their contribution becomes just an integral part of a much larger system.

The manufacturers of building services products including security, fire detection, building environmental controls, lighting etc and their system integrator / installers have operated within the traditional contractual procedures of delivering through separate contracts. Even within the physical security business, the three branches of access control, intruder alarm and video surveillance might be tendered on separate contracts.

BIoT cannot be realized without these contractual procedures changing. The outcome will be determined by those that can quickly prove the value they offer and how easy they can commoditize products. A building that need to integrates video surveillance, HVAC, lighting, maintenance and asset management, measure various pollutants, temperature, humidity, radiation, pollen and other allergens, could be centred around the LED lighting system, Building Environmental Control System or Security.

The jury is out on who wins this business but within the BIoT sector today lighting and building environmental controls are making most waves in developing this business. However we have yet to see how far downstream the ICT industry including silicon chips manufacturers, communications and software providers are prepared to go. They hold the key to the rate of technological development in BIoT.

The physical security business has done much in the past two years to fully integrate IP network products across the three branches and have the technical expertise and research facilities to do it. With funding and time, they could not just excel at “their part” but also extend it to include many other services.

There is much to be gained from reaching out beyond the insular borders of the security business, possibly focused on a few vertical markets where security is the vital link. It requires visionaries to do this and cooperation across the existing supply chain bringing together product manufacturers and system integrators through strategic alliances.

The security industry has the resources to shape its own future and play a vital role in the BIoT business. It does not have to wait for the ICT industry to determine it.

This article was been based on two Memoori reports; The Physical Security Business 2016 to 2021 and The Internet of Things in Smart Commercial Buildings 2016 to 2021 both available to purchase direct from our Website.

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